Posted by: Peter Houston | February 9, 2010

Brian Dopirak

Heard of him? Well, for those of you who haven’t, check this out. And this. For those of you who have, I say this: Brian Dopirak should be the Blue Jays everyday first baseman this season.

To some, probably the hardcore fans, that may be obvious. But if this realization hasn’t come so easily to you, hear me out.

Brian Dopirak was initially drafted out of Dunedin High School (yes, the same Dunedin) by the Cubs in the 2nd round of the 2002 draft. After farting around for his first two years, he exploded in 2004 and hit 39 HR, 120 RBI and .307/.363/.593. But that’s when things went sour. He somehow couldn’t re-create that success (or even come close) in any of his next three years. So, in 2007, the Cubs dropped him. But that’s when things started looking up.

Flash forward to 2010. Brian Dopirak is now 26 years old. He has put up back-to-back monster years (.304./.368/.550 in A/AA and .317/.371/.549 in AA/AAA) in the Blue Jays farm system. He is part of an organization that is rebuilding. If he doesn’t deserve an everyday starting spot in the bigs, I don’t know who does.

Yes, I’m well aware that we currently have a first basemen under contract. Lyle Overpaid. Well, not really, but kinda. He has one more year on his contract at $7 M. The point is, he’s old, he’s highly mediocre and he’s got no future here. Why not show him the door? Why not throw in a prospect who has the chance to be something special? If he sucks, who cares. It’s not like we’re going to be winning very many games anyway. But if he lives up to his potential, or at least shows that potential, rebuilding could be over a lot quicker than you think. But that presents a problem.

What if Brian Dopirak is actually good?

Why is that a problem? Brett Wallace is supposed to be pretty good, too.

AA said that the plan is for Brett Wallace to move over to 1B. I have a feeling he’s going to be called up before the year’s over. This may be overly optimistic, but what if Dopirak is proving his worth with the Jays and Wallace is tearing up AAA? Well, short answer is Wallace gets called up to play 3B and Encarnacion gets a well deserved seat on the bench. But I guess it’s not exactly a bad problem to have when you’ve got two prospects hitting their way on to the big league club.

The thing is, at least if the projection about Wallace and Dopirak’s defence is right, the corners of our infield would be manned by two pilons. Moving them to DH isn’t an option. Suck it up at get ready for some 8-7 games.

Wow… I think it’s safe to say I’m getting way ahead of myself. But is it so hard to believe? Dopirak was a 2nd round pick, a former Cubs minor league player of the year, and has torn up the Jays minor league system. It’s not like he’s some career minor leaguer who ends up mashing when he’s thiry-something playing against guys who aren’t old enough to drink (see Randy Ruiz). He put up his big numbers when he was 24 and 25. There’s no doubt that he has potential, and now’s as good a time as any for him to showcase it.

I don’t think AA is oblivious to this by any means either. He did try to ship Overbay earlier in the offseason for Chris Snyder (ew), but in this case it’s not the thought that counts. Lyle Overbay needs to be traded so Brian Dopirak can get his shot.

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Responses

  1. Bryce Harper comes out in this year’s draft, not next year’s. The Nationals already own the kid — unless for some crazy reason they decide they don’t want him.

    • Right you are, I’ll take that out.

  2. This kind of thing drives me nuts – not that the trip is particularly far in my case – the Jays have never seemed to understand hitters – for instance Wells roomate and best friend, Young being got rid of when it was clear to me (and I’m as thick as three two by fours nailed together) that young was a going to be a stud. Then Gibbons being let go a a Rule 5 guy. Hell – when Gibbons was just ignored he was almost the only potential power bat in the system.

    We go to the trouble to get Brian, to fix Brian (we have the technology) BUT we don’t even give the guy a serious try.

    Ball busters. If I was him and I don’t get a serious chance this year I’d hold a very public hissy fit in Rogers Center.

  3. […] may be the favourite, Brian Dopirak is a guy I’d like to see get a shot. I’ve already endorsed his candidacy for starting first baseman this year, so I won’t go over that again. But he’s also […]


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